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Spyware and streaming advertising ... It's in the game™

Spyware in Battlefield 2142 used to monitor your surfing habits to better stream "approriate ad content" into the game. This is rather annoying, and hopefully not the shape of things to come;


Really, How Much Will We Take?

Fredrik Skarstedt let me know about this item over at Shack News:
In the latest CGW podcast, they received retail boxed copies of BF 2142.

When you open the box, a big slip of paper falls out first, preceeding any discs or manuals. The slip of paper says, essentially, that 2142 includes monitoring software which runs while your computer is online, and records "anonymous" information like your IP address, surfing habits (probably via cookie scans), and other "computing habits" in order to report this information back to ad companies and ad servers, which generates in-game ads.

Now, I can live with certain in-game ads (though apparently there will be Dodge truck and Neon ads in the bleak, futuristic world of 2142), but including a lengthy description - outside of even the EULA - seems to indicate even EA knows that this is some shady borderline spyware shit. I don't support it and won't be buying 2142 (for a host of other reasons, too).

There are two separate lines of thought here.

The first is that EA should be congratulated for including that "big slip of paper" warning that they're about to go all 1984 on your ass. Sure, I would have preferred to say a big notice on the game box that says "WARNING: THIS BOX INCLUDES A BIG KICK TO YOUR TESTICLES," but at least they're being relatively up-front about it.

So let me get this straight: we're paying $49.99 for a game that is going to have intrusive, streaming ads that will be targeted to us personally through the monitoring of our Internet activities?

See, EA is telling us this is a prostate exam, but it's really just a finger up our ass. It's not going to "enhance" the game experience. Can they not make enough money selling a game for fifty freaking dollars that we can't return even if it's absolute shit (cough--NBA Live '07--cough)?

Like I said in the title, I wonder how much of this we will take. Gamers in general seem to be extremely complacent and entirely willing to get kicked in the face (or, in this case, somewhat lower). Is there a point at which even we get fed up?

From Dubious Quality.

Spyware in a game, how much further can EA go?
That "slip of paper" is the kinda stuff I throw away first, together with the Nvidia and X-Fi ad's.

Here's a picture of it:
ohhh wow. Anarchy Online has in game ads. Don't know if they do spyware or not.

Another reason why the EArth is just getting worse and worse.
In game ads aren't anything new. I know back when I pubbed a lot in counter-strike, there were some servers that had advertisements in "nicely" selected spots. It wasn't any bother, however this spyware is another different story. I myself would never buy a product that contains that type of disclaimer. Although other people might not follow suit. The general public sees a cool looking game and will disregard this disclaimer and still install and play it.
Here's some more news from EA's latest Screwup:


Players who have the Windows security update KB917422 installed may suffer from an application error when running Battlefield 2142. This error can be solved by uninstalling the KB917422 update.

Here's what this security update does:

MS06-051: Vulnerability in the Windows kernel could result in remote code execution

Uninstall this security update at your own risk!
I definately won't buy BF2142 now. Thanks a lot for informing me about this!
BTW, it doesn't look at anything outside of the game. So, no, it doesn't look at your surfing habits. What it does do is record if and how long you look at the in-game ads. Personally, EA has abused it's fans enough to warrant not buying their games, but this shows they're continuing to push that envelope. In-game ads in innappropriate game spaces for a full retail priced game is uncalled for.
Wow--have they become AOL? It's a stretch of an analogy, but either way it seems you're paying to be tracked and to watch ads. Rolling Eyes

I can only hope the gamers will fight back before the ads will take over everything in the game. I've read about TVs in development that will force the viewers to watch commercials (i.e. unable to change channels)--games would be our only escape if that nightmare ever came true.
I think it stinks, and I won't buy games if I know they do this kind of thing.
This is definitely going to far. Some games have ads in them which makes sense. Tony Hawks Underground two had in game ads, for Butterfinger and sports equipment in the levels. They were unobtrusive like on billboards and on buildings like in real life, that is fine. But when they are being pushed at us that is not alright.

As gamers I think we should take a stand against games like this!! Not only the games but the company's that make them! I for one am disgusted by the fact that EA would try to put something like this in a game. Someone pays them to put this in the game, so the advertising is there. But who cares about "how long" we look at the adds... We need to show the corporations that this will not stand. I think a boycott of some sort, or a petition to EA about this would be the way to go!
The question is, to those of us who really enoyed the BF 2142 demo and want the full game, is the spyware worth the tradeoff?
Kitten Kong
The practice of ads in games and ESPECIALLY intrusive spyware should be regulated.... harshly.

However i think that ads can have their place in games but I see only one set of circumstances where it should be allowed.

In Australia we have two typed of television, free to air television that anyone can watch so long as they have a TV, it can be kept free because every show you watch is interrupted by ads, this is how it is paid for.

Then there is pay tv, where you pay a monthly fee and you get all the awesome shows with no ads.

Free = Ads
Pay = No Ads

Now what EA is doing here is having us pay for the games AND ALSO scraping some extra cream from the top by having companies pay to advertise through their game. It's a load of crap and should be illegal.

And at the very least the scrap of paper in the box is too little too late, they know by the time you have bought the game and taken it home and opened it there is nothing gonna stop you from playing it, there should be something on the box.

But bottom line, if they wanna be paid through advertising, then we should get the games for FREE.
lol now i'm confused...who's the first company who started putting spyware in popular software first? EA or Microsoft?
Free = Ads
Pay = No Ads

Indeed. I can sort of understand why they'd put the ads there - they do have to pay for servers and provider, but the whole thing with spyware is way bloody too much; besides a great number of other companies are not doing this sort of crap. I mean, imagine if Blizzard would have pulled this same sort of stunt with BNet Diablo 2? Right. EA releases games they spend minimal time working on, and yet they slap in more rubbish to get money out of us through dirty means now.

So, yes. If I paid for a box with Intellectual Property (TM) inside, I expect to be treated appropriately, and not be milked, or be used as the milking device.
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